If you’ve ever spent any time around kids, you’ve probably noticed that water tends to be a magnet for them. Doesn’t matter if it’s a pond, a puddle, or a fountain — if it’s wet, kids go running to it. Followed, of course, by sticking their hands right in.
What does that have to do with plant nutrient knowledge, you ask? Well, a couple years ago, we created a special barrel-shaped fountain for AgroLiquid’s IQhub exhibit. This fountain has a continual cascade of water, which appeals to the kids that are the IQhub’s primary audience, but it’s not just a decorative accessory. It’s designed to illustrate a principle of plant nutrition known as Liebig’s Law of the Minimum. (If you want a fuller explanation, we wrote this article all about the fountain.)
But if there’s one thing that’s more attractive to kids than water is, it’s a game. Especially games that include buttons to hit. So it’s no surprise that, not too long ago, AgroLiquid decided to add to the IQhub’s collection of games.
No Water Required
AgroLiquid wanted this game to accompany their barrel fountain and help them further illustrate the concept behind Liebig’s Law of the Minimum. So we developed an interactive unit shaped like a barrel and built it out of wooden staves, so it matched the fountain’s wood-like exterior. Then we gave it a monitor and slapped on some bright buttons. (Well, not really “slapped.” Installing those things is actually quite the task.)
To play, visitors read the trivia questions that pop up and choose one of the multiple-choice answer options. They hit the button with the corresponding color to make their selection. All the while, fun sound effects and a colorful animation of overflowing barrels play on the monitor. Right answers help the players rebuild their broken barrel, and the first to complete his or her barrel is the winner.
As you might expect, the trivia questions all deal with the nutrients necessary for healthy plant growth. Thus, the game teaches additional facts about the topic while also reinforcing the information that the fountain display provides about Leibig’s Law of the Minimum. It’s a win-win. And unlike water, kids won’t get messy playing with this.